Cuatro Peak  
Condition Updates  
 
Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 2020-05-26, By: 12ersRule
Info: Saturday, May 23: ------------------------- Mt Maxwell 13,335 Cuatro Peak 13487 “Leaning South Peak” 13203 “Leaning North Peak” 13100 Trinchera Peak 13517 “English Saddle” 12955 14.5 miles, 4800ft Left Fort Collins around 2am. Arrived at Purgatoire Campground at 6:30am. Met Paula and Jon at 7am at the trailhead. Drove up to 11,000ft on 4wd road, FS437. Probably the furthest you can get right now is 11400ft. 1st peak was Mt Maxwell - road ends around 11800ft, and then there is a climbers trail up to tundra at 12000ft. Then, it's mostly tundra until 13000ft, then there is a little bit of route finding to do. It's probably just rough class 2 overall. Summit is technically on private land, so we just tagged the summit and then hung out on the leeward/northeast side. Paula and Jon decided they were done at Maxwell, so they turned around back the way they came, and I headed north on the ridge to Cuatro. 2nd peak - Cuatro. There was a little route finding on this one. I started out east of the south ridge, but then was forced to stay on the ridge thanks to cliffs. It was mostly solid, I kept the climbing at class 3. Was a relief to top out though, as it was getting pretty windy. Heading to “Leaning South Peak” was pretty straightforward except a snowfield encountered near the saddle of Cuatro/”Leaning South”. I avoided the snow field to the west because I had no ice ax and even though the runout on the field was good, I felt that I could generate enough speed on the hard snow to really mess myself up. Wind between “Leaning South Peak” and “Leaning North Peak” was unbelievable. I lost my favorite winter hat when it blew right off my head. I ended up going with my buff and ski goggles the rest of the ridge and that kept things slightly less obnoxious. The south slopes of Trinchera were straightforward. I just took my time and stopped a lot when the gusts got really bad. North slopes of Trinchera, I mostly stuck to the ridge. There was one rough section of 100-150 feet of broken rock to negotiate. It might be class 2+, I definitely used my hands in spots to balance. Last peak of the day, “English Saddle” was an easy add-on had the wind not been ridiculous in spots. I tried to head out a little more east on the slopes to protect from the wind. To descend, I went straight down from “English Saddle” to a road between Blue Lake Campground and a mine right under Trinchera. Lots of snow on the road from 11800ft to 11200ft, when I met up with FT1309 which took me back to the Purgatoire TH after 4 miles. https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1X12dxFJi68SGTHFfQ_nFySezag01RC67?usp=sharing 
 
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2020-01-28, By: SarahT
Info: FR 34 is passable w/ 4WD vehicle for just over a mile from CO-12. There were hints of a very old snowshoe track continuing up the road but it was buried under a significant amount of new snow and eventually petered out. At Purgatoire Campground I fought my way to the start of Cuatro's long east ridge and followed it to the summit, which was fairly unpleasant and hard work until treeline. This is a very avy-safe route. About 13mi/4700ft RT. 
1
 
Route: From Trinchera/Leaning South Pk
Posted On: 2019-08-06, By: IHikeLikeAGirl
Info: Summer conditions, no need for traction. 
 
Route: Trinchera to Maxwell Traverse
Posted On: 2019-07-21, By: JasonKline
Info: Loop involving Purgatory Campground, Trinchera road, Trinchera to Maxwell traverse, and Maxwell ridge back to Purgatory Campground is almost entirely free of snow. Only had to cross one small snow field just below the summit of Trinchera, and microspikes/poles were more than sufficient. You can easily bypass the cornice on the Trinchera summit just to its north/hiker's right when ascending. It's probably easier to bypass the remaining snow on the ridge when traveling Maxwell->Trinchera than Trinchera->Maxwell, because the clear route is much more obvious going south to north. 
 
Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 2019-07-10, By: goldenite
Info: Approached from Maxwell from Rd 437 and went to Trinchera. Except for a bit at treeline, route is free of snow. Snow was hard packed in the morning (5:00a) and only softened a little by 11:00a No snow on any of the class 3 Cuatro ridge. 
3

Return to the main Peak Conditions page



© 2020 14ers.com®, 14ers Inc.